Collection on Transgressive Women in Global Speculative Fiction [2/28/2013]

full name / name of organization: 
Valerie Guyant/ University of Wisconsin & Elizabeth Bowman/ University of Guam

The interconnection of speculative fiction, transgressions against social norms, gender studies, and global perspectives is compelling because speculative fiction allows for a unique approach to social critiques. The worlds that are created in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and dystopian futures allow the genre to to explore new or imaginative societies, detached from existing or historical social structures. Such an environment of speculation has led many authors such as Joanna Russ, Angela Carter, Margaret Atwood and Marge Piercy to utilize the genre to comment on women's concerns. Their works have, understandably been extensively critically examined as have works by authors such as Ursula LeGuin, Anne Rice, Stephanie Meyer, and Stephen King.
While not denying the important works or the critical approaches that have previously been explored, Dr. Bowman and I solicit critical approaches for our anthology that examine female characters created by contemporary writers of speculative fiction who are underrepresented in present scholarship, emphasizing the global reach of speculative fiction. We specifically request essays that examine female characters who operate outside social norms [either real world norms or those of their created cultures] and whose transgressive behavior is potentially transformative and critically interesting. We are especially interested in global perspectives and authors, including Hiromi Goto, Marcela Sola, Irmtraud Morgner, Vandana Singh, Nalo Hopkinson, Zoran Drvenkar, Rinsai Rossetti, Karen Lord, and Malinda Lo, although there are many others as well. However, particularly engaging ideas about underrepresented authors from any locale are encouraged.
We are NOT interested in well-known American and British authors who have already been the focus of significant critical work.
Facets of transgression may include gender performance and breaking bounds of gender normativity; issues regarding motherhood, reproduction, and other-mothers; enacted or experienced violence; non-heteronormative, monogamous sexuality; the questioning or embracing of religion; and any behavior which breaks, bends, or questions other social paradigms. Our intent is that this anthology will contribute to an understanding of global uses of speculative fiction as a prism for examining the intersectionalities and problematization of race, class, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, concentrating on characters who are interpreted as female by the readership.
The anthology will be divided into overarching themes of gender performance and sexuality, violence and peace, identity formation and othering, and mothering, reproduction, and other-mothering. While essays that engage any of these topics are solicited, other considerations of transgressive female characters in speculative fiction are welcome, as are email inquiries to the editors.
Having received strong interest in the collection from McFarland & Company, we invite abstracts of 250-500 words, along with a CV or full list of credentials, to both and by February 28, 2013. Editors will invite contributors to submit completed essays of 4000-7500 words, with a projected due date of June 1, 2013. We are eager to submit the collection for publication review in August 2013.
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